Wildlife of Madagascar

Mention Madagascar to travel-hungry adventurers and it conjures up images of an exotic and remote landscape, home to some of the rarest creatures on the planet.

Lemur in Madagascar

Lemur in Madagascar

More than 80% of Madagascar’s plants and animals can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

Here’s a look at some of the rare animals you might see on the island.

1. Lemurs

Probably the most famous inhabitants are its 33 species of lemurs. All are endemic to the island, with scientists continuing to discover new species.

Some of the most well-known include:

 
  • Ring-tailed lemur – living in the southern and western dry forests of the island, these highly sociable creatures live in groups of up to 30 largely female dominated communities.
  • Sifakas – the ‘dancing’ lemurs found mainly in the dry forests of the West and South. They get their nickname from their dance-like movement, as they walk on hind legs while moving their arms about.
  • Dwarf lemur – small nocturnal lemurs found throughout Madagascar.
  • Aye-Aye – another nocturnal lemur that lives in the rainforests but is threatened by extinction due to deforestation and hunting.
  • Indri – living in the rainforests of the East coast, the Indri is the largest living lemur in the world. It has a distinct black and white coat, and an eerie sounding call.

2. Fossa

Fossa

Fossa

A large cat-like predator, there are very few of these creatures still in existence in Madagascar. The Fossa’s stealth and secretive habits make it difficult to track. But natural scientists believe its facing extinction due to the destruction of its habitat, and hunting by humans as it ventures into populated areas looking for food.

3. Birds

Of the 258 bird species found on Madagascar, some 115 are endemic. They can be found in parks and forests around the island, and include:

  • Madagascar Lovebird
  • Red tailed Vanga
  • Collared Night Jar
  • Marsh Owl
  • Sparrowhawk of Madagascar
  • Madagascar Wood Rail
  • Rufous headed Ground Roller

4. Chameleons

 

Over half of the world’s species of chameleons are found on Madagascar, including the recently discovered Furcifer Timoni.

Some of the smallest chameleons on the island are the Brookesia, measuring just over an inch. These tiny creatures live in the forest undergrowth across the island.

5. Amphibians

With more than 300 species of frogs on Madagascar, an amazing 99% are endemic to the island. Frogs are the only amphibians found here, there are many beautiful species including:

  • Mantella – who use their bright colours to scare off predators
  • Tomato Frog – brightly coloured frog that releases a sticky secretion to protect against larger predators
  • Mantidactylus – hides from predators using its heavily camouflaged skin.

6. Fish

Scorpion fish

Scorpion fish

The seas around Madagascar are brimming with fish. The area offers superb diving sites for all levels. Check out our article on the top 5 diving sites off Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina.

Where to stay?

If you’re looking for a place to escape from it all, Tsarabanjina is a by-word for laid-back luxury. Get the low-down on this beautiful island lodge – Spotlight on Lodge Tsarabanjina,Madagascar.

Send us your wildlife photos  

And if you’ve already travelled to Madagascar, we’d love to see your wildlife photos. You can post them to the Constance Facebook page.

Take yourself to a world far away from daily life

If you’ve woken up feeling a little too Monday-ish, here’s a sneak peak at a place where you can truly escape… see if you can guess where it is.

Turquoise seas

Turquoise seas

  • The water is crystal clear.
  • Fresh fish is always available.
  • Sommeliers are knowledgeable and love their job.
  • Waiters genuinely enjoy what they do.
  • There’s a great wine list. And guess what: it’s included in our crystal package.
  • Australian beef tenderloin, prepared by Aussie chef Stuart Blair, is also included in the crystal package.
  • Want to enjoy a signature cocktail after dinner in the Totem bar? You’ve got it, that’s also included.
  • Chefs are passionate and smiling.
  • Chef Murulie’s legendary coconut ice cream is waiting for you.
  • No shoes are required in the restaurant at dinner time. Or at lunch for that matter…

So close your eyes, imagine you’re there and enjoy this glimpse of perfection in paradise… 

Breakfast at Manta restaurant

Breakfast at Manta restaurant

Romantic dinner on the beach

Romantic dinner on the beach

Beach at sunset

Beach at sunset

Did you guess? You’re in Constance Moofushi, Maldives.

If you’re tempted – check out more articles about Moofushi and the Maldives:

 

Celebrate Christmas with Constance Hotels

Christmas tree at Constance

Christmas tree at Constance

There’ll be a crackle in the air across the Indian Ocean this Christmas as Constance lays on some fabulous celebrations at its 7 resorts in the Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius and Madagascar. 

Here’s a glimpse of some of the special events we have in store if you’re trading a white Christmas for tropical warmth.

Each Constance hotel is offering a mix of international and locally influenced celebrations, and many run from mid-December to early-January.

Maldives

Where: Constance Halaveli Resort

What’s there to do: photo safari, fruit carving, partner massage class, Indian cookery class, beach cinema night, live Boduberu dancers, Jetty marathon on the longest jetty in the Maldives, visit from Father Christmas.

 

 

Children’s activities: let’s get making – crowns, masks, kites, lanterns, binoculars, face puzzles, candles and more; water balloon fight, crab race and star gazing, pirate sunset walk, table tennis.

Culinary delights: Christmas Day international menu, Tandoori under the stars, Lobster and caviar menu, Paella on the beach, Middle Eastern buffet, Champagne picnic, Chocolate fountain brunch, New Year Gala Dinner, New Year’s Day brunch, Wines of the world, Champagne.

Seychelles

1. Where: Constance Lémuria Resort

Spa de Constance at Lemuria
Spa de Constance at Lemuria

What’s there to do: spa – complimentary classes, scenic photography walk, introductory scuba diving, paddle boat tournament, walks to Anse Georgette, golf contests, bike ride round Praslin, daily spa treatments including Ancient Greek Therapy, Balinese Boreh Wrap, Arabic Sultan Therapy, Old China Empress’ Treatment.

Children’s activities: hair braiding, fishermen’s game, Mowtya Dance, Creole games, volleyball, scavengers’ hunt.

Culinary delights: Martini and Jazz evening, Lobster Feast, Champagne on the beach, Indian Food evening, White evening – dress in white and dance under the stars with resident DJ.

2. Where: Constance Ephélia Resort

What’s there to do: yoga, bike ride, nature walk and talk, Christmas tree decorations, tennis social, volleyball, cocktail making, kayak tour to Port Launay Marine Park, Christmas morning mass, New Year – disco, black and white evening, cocktails with hotel management.

Children’s activities: pizza making, rugby on the beach, bocce ball, treasure hunt, mangrove walking, badminton, table tennis.

Culinary delights: Creole bouillabaisse, Fisherman’s night, Lobster menu, Little Italy evening, Creole grill and BBQ, Couscous night, Oyster bar.

Mauritius

1. Where: Constance Le Prince Maurice

Christmas at Le Prince Maurice

Christmas at Le Prince Maurice

What’s there to do: scuba diving, bike rides, watersports, tennis social, special spa treatments, yoga, fitness, Christmas carols on Christmas Eve, free shuttle to Christmas Day mass, live music, fireworks on New Year’s Eve and DJ music til dawn.

Children’s activities: scuba diving, pool treasure hunt, kite flying, craft making, family soccer, karate, frog hunt, mother and daughter make up demo, foam pool party, fishing, henna tattoos, visit to tortoise park, evening beach BBQ.

Culinary delights: cocktails by pool on Christmas Eve, gala dinner, New Year’s Eve gala buffet and cocktails.

2. Where: Constance Belle Mare Plage

What’s there to do: cookery lessons, beach party with cocktails, golf and fun, musical entertainment every night, tropical night, disco.

Children’s activities: special cinema party and popcorn, cookery lessons, beach disco, BBQ night, pyjama party, craft making, lunch with Father Christmas.

Teen activities: snokelling, mini golf tournament, kung fu, table tennis tournament, boccia ball, water ski initiation, beach football, bike tours, yoga, salsa, glass bottom boat trips.

Culinary delights: Pearl and seashells evening with jazz, Iberique with Latino band, Steak House evening with New Orleans menu, From Provence to Italy wine dinner, Mauritian Street Food evening, Lobster menu, Christmas Day buffet, Seafood grill on the beach, New Year’s Eve buffet or Wine dinner at Blue Penny.

Christmas gifts for Constance holidays

Are you or loved ones travelling to a Constance hotel for Christmas or New Year? Our spa, golf and dining vouchers make perfect Christmas gifts, and you can buy them online now. Find out more from the Constance Hotels Experience website. Select the hotel of your choice, then go to ‘online concierge’.

And if you want to know more about what it’s like to stay at Constance Hotels, don’t miss our article about The essence of the Constance Hotels Experience.

Top dive sites in Mauritius

The warm waters surrounding the island of Mauritius make it an ideal year-round diving destination.

Fish in Indian Ocean

Underwater world of the Indian Ocean

Here’s a look at some of the top dive sites on the East and North West coasts of the island.

Belle Mare Plage

The dive school at Constance Belle Mare Plage caters for beginners right through to qualified divers.

Small numbers go out on the boat to the reef that’s a short distance off Belle Mare Plage, or the lagoon off Constance Le Prince Maurice.

Here, you can expect to see beautiful corals and large shoals of colourful fish. You may get a chance to see the rare stone fish, dolphins, guitar shark and turtles, as well as whales further out to sea during the winter months.

In addition to the incredible underwater creatures you’ll see, the service you get both diving and on board the boat is everything you’d expect from a 5* luxury hotel.

Ile Aux Cerfs

Scuba diver and shoal of fish

Incredible underwater world of diving

The tiny island of Ile Aux Cerfs is renowned for its sandy beaches and calm waters. The coral reef is beautiful and brimming with marine life.

You can arrange diving trips to the island either from your hotel, or once you arrive at Ile Aux Cerfs.

Grand Baie and Trou aux Biches

If you’ve already explored the East coast, and want to see more of the underwater world of Mauritius, head to the North West coast, where you’ll find some great dive sites including Whale Roc, Lost City, The Tube and Waterlilly.

Expect to see huge numbers of fish, corals, rays and sharks. There’s a wreck of a Japanese fishing boat at Stella Maru, just in front of the reef. Here, an abundance of sea life have made this their home over the last 15 years.

Share your dive experience

And if you’ve got photos from a diving experience in Mauritius, you can post them to our Constance Facebook page. We’d love to see them!

Top beauty tips for winter weddings

Winter weddings can be thrillingly romantic. If you’re getting married soon, take inspiration from our round up of beauty and make up blog articles to help guarantee you look radiant on your special day.

Newly married couple
Romance of a winter wedding

Inspiration for winter brides
Make up, dresses, hair styles – it’s all in here from Beauty for Brides.

 AW 2011 make up trends
Looking at the hottest make up trends from MAC, and how to adapt them for your wedding day from the Modern Wedding Blog.

Beauty tips
Seasonal, on trend beauty tips from The Knot.

Hair tips
Up-do’s, on-trend pony tails or romantic wavy tresses… there are ideas here for everyone from the Modern Salon.

And don’t miss our articles on getting married or honeymooning at Constance Hotels:

Top 5 Seychelles islands for bird lovers

Well known as a haven for honeymooners, the stunning islands of the Seychelles archipelago are also a magnet for ornithologists the world over.

Constance Lemuria Resort, Seychelles

Constance Lemuria

The 155 granite and coral islands are home to 12 endemic bird species, and the largest sea bird colonies in the world.

For all bird enthusiasts out there, here’s our top 5 run down of must-see Seychelles’ islands.

1. Praslin Island

The rare endemic Seychelles Black Parrot is the national bird. Visitors to the exotic Vallée de Mai on Praslin Island, are likely to see the Black Parrot as well as the Seychelles Bulbul, Seychelles Swiflet and Fruit Pigeon.

2. Mahé

Seychelles Kestrel

Seychelles Kestrel

Mahé is the largest of the islands, and there are a number of beautiful walks you can take into the tropical hills to spot the Seychelles Kestrel, Seychelles White-eye and Seychelles Scops-owl.

3. Bird Island

Bird Island is situated some 60 miles north of Mahé.  It’s a tiny flat coralline island where over 400,000 pairs of Sooty Terns breed every year between May – November.

There are viewing platforms where you can enjoy the sight of the terns incubating their eggs and caring for newborn chicks. Other birds found on the island include Curlew Sandpipers, Fairy Terns and Turnstones.

4. Cousin Island

Seychelles Magpie Robin

Seychelles Magpie Robin

Cousin Island, just 2km from Praslin Island, is home to a bird and marine sanctuary that has won several awards for conservation and ecotourism.

The endangered Seychelles Magpie Robin was successfully reintroduced on the island. You’ll also find other endemic birds including the Seychelles Sunbird, Seychelles Fody and Seychelles Blue Pigeon.

There’s also a massive seabird colony here with 7 different species nesting at different times of year. Expect to see Fairy Terns, Bridled Terns, Lesser Noddies, Audubon’s Shearwater and the Wedge-tailed Shearwater.

5. Aride Island

Close to Cousin Island, Aride is the only place in the archipelago where you’ll find Red-tailed Tropicbirds. The world’s only hilltop colony of Sooty Terns are also found here, living alongside White-tailed Tropicbirds, Roseate Terns, Seychelles Sunbird and the Seychelles Fody.

When to visit

Sooty terns

Sooty terns

The main breeding season for birds in the Seychelles is April, while Sooty Terns nest from May-September.

October is migration time, where numbers peak across the islands. Visitors at this time of year can expect some stunning sights across the sky.

Where to stay

Combine all this with a wonderfully relaxing holiday at one of our luxury 5* resorts in the Seychelles.

And for more wildlife inspiration, don’t miss these articles: